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:: Little Fish

Little Fish features some of Australia’s’ heavyweights in acting talents. Amongst others, Academy Award-winner Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Sam Neill and Martin Henderson. Not to mention appearances by television stars Noni Hazlehurst and Lisa McCune. But Rowan Woods' film features more that big Australian names. Little Fish is a gritty urban drama which weaves together the story of drugs, violence and desperation. Set in a multicultural district in suburban Sydney the story explores the fragility of the future and the inevitable pull of the past. Tracy Heart (Cate Blanchett) is a 32-year-old ex-junkie who is attempting to leave the past behind, and determined to start a new future. But how do you start a new future if the past won’t let you go?

Little Fish is a visceral exploration of past mistakes, tragedies and the inescapable pull of the narcotics trade. With a history of drug taking behind her, Tracy finds it impossible to start afresh in building her small business, finding herself continually shut down in her attempts to secure a loan. Her associations with close friends and family draw her slowly back into her past, eventually leading her to be being embroiled in a drug deal.

The haunting musical score and the gritty cinematography accentuate the sadness and melancholia of the film. Strong performances from the cast allow the characters to be fully drawn out. Hugo Weaving, whose performances of late have included The Matrix, The Lord Of The Ring trilogies, takes on a difficult role as a homosexual ex-football star, now reduces to nothing more than a sickly drug addict.

It seems all the characters carry scars both internal and external. Tracy’s brother Ray (Martin Henderson) is an amputee from a past accident, their mother (Noni Hazlehurst), plays out her own emotional battle as a single woman fearing for the safety and security of her children. The film begins with nostalgic images of childhood sun washed days at the seaside. It echoes a loss of innocence and longing for a fresh start and clean beginning.

Little Fish will leave you moved and on some level shed light on the growing drug problem within Australia. A telling insight into the personal battles that result from drug addiction.